Dr. Rav Ivker supports medicinal cannabis use, but he's not onboard with all cannabis products. In fact, Dr. Ivker - who wrote the book 'Cannabis for Chronic Pain' - has come out against cannabis concentrates because he believes the THC levels in products like shatter are so high, they could be dangerous.
"I think they should be illegal," Ivker told Westword recently. "In fact, I hope they become illegal. The only thing they're good for is getting really high. But they're high-risk, and there's really no benefit from them."
"[Those] who are most attracted to these products happen to be adolescents and young adults—people in their twenties," Ivker explained. "And even more concerning than the addiction problem is the fact that our brains are still developing until we're in our mid-to-late twenties. The THC affects brain function and can create a higher risk of schizophrenia, and that's really awful. We're definitely seeing an increase in the number of young people developing schizophrenia from the daily use of cannabis. I think that's the greatest health risk of all, and one common denominator is that people who are at the highest risk for developing schizophrenia began using daily before the age of eighteen."
Ivker still believes there are real medical applications for cannabis—particularly for chronic pain—but it must be used with caution, saying patients should avoid using cannabis every day if they don't need to.
"I often recommend topicals—creams and salves that have proven to be highly effective. Many of these young people have chronic pain as a result of sports-related injuries—snowboarding, mountain biking—and also automobile accidents. And they can get two to three hours of relief without getting high from a topical."
So it might be a good thing that most cannabis consumers still prefer smoking a joint to dabbing.